Hoodie vs Sweatshirt: Which Style is Right For You?

Have you ever stood frozen in front of your closet, gridlocked in an intense inner-debate over what to wear? When the weather drops below 60 degrees and that slight nip in the air means your regular attire just won’t cut it, it always boils down to two timeless choices to top your outfit off: sweatshirt vs. hoodie. Each fluffy, warm option has its own voice in the world of style and can change an outfit from comfy or cool to a combination of the two, effortlessly.

Hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts have a lot in common at first sight. Both are classic sportswear garments – quite often made of the same fabrics. They are both worn by many people of all ages and sexes. The main difference, of course, is that a hoodie has a hood and a sweatshirt does not. But the differences do go further…

General properties of sweatshirts and hoodies

A sweatshirt is a long-sleeved pullover garment. It covers the upper body and the arms, just like a hooded sweater.

Material: The fabrics used have the same general properties. Whether they are made from classic French Terry or other types of knit – either cotton, plastic or other materials – depends on the manufacturer. But there is no fundamental distinction between the sweatshirt and the hoodie when it comes to material.

Collar: A sweatshirt can be worn alone or with an additional garment, such as a shirt or T-shirt. This is similar to a hoodie, but in the hoodie’s case you can’t wear anything underneath that is supposed to be visible because the hood offers no room for it.

Details: A sweatshirt normally has no buttons, hooks or zippers and is therefore the simpler garment. A hoodie, on the other hand, not only has a hood as an extra but often also cords that peep out of the hood to tighten it. Some hoodies also have a zipper so you can opt to wear it open. Another common design nuance of the Hoodie is the Kangaroo pocket at the front, which can’t be found on a typical Sweatshirt.

Hoodie vs. Sweatshirt: who’s really winning this race?

Both sweatshirts and hoodies span across time and several socioeconomic demographics, there is an equal but opposite gaggle of just-as-artfully-torn hoodies being worn by high school kids. Sweatshirts with college, brand, or city names written in athletic block print or simple printed or embroidered designs remain a crowd favorite when looking for something comfortable and long-lasting.

We will all at some point in our lives find ourselves deliberating over this age-old debate. But which do we choose? Which item speaks loudest to the world, shows everyone we may come into contact with exactly who we are?

The answer is simple: It’s both, and it’s deeply personal.

When the cooler weather starts to hit and your eyes begin to wander through the possibilities of new fall ‘fit items to customize for your teams, customers, or brand, you’ll probably already have a vibe in mind.

You may be looking for something simple—an evergreen, staple sweatshirt printed with your logo or a saying that your people will all rally around—or, maybe you’ll gravitate to something more complex, a hoodie with custom embroidery on one of its many pockets, setting you apart from the crowd. Each of these choices, along with many others that also occupy their realm of orbit (I’m telling you, there really is an unlimited selection out there) is a valid one. Each of these garments is endlessly customizable and ready to be filled with all of the little bits and bobs of your personality. They’re designed to be dressed up or down, for any occasion.

When to choose a sweatshirt over a hoodie?

Both sweatshirts and hoodies are warm garments that can either create a sporty look or loosen up a more elegant outfit. Nevertheless, there are certain outfit combinations in which a sweatshirt should certainly be preferred to a hoodie. On the other hand, the sweatshirt doesn’t always match every look and should give way to hoodie to avoid a potential faux pas.

In wintery and windy conditions

Both hoodie and sweatshirt are perfect styles for the colder days: heavy fabrics such as French Terry cotton and a closed waistband at sleeves and torso, help to perfect heat insulation. The hood, however, offers additional protection to keep the head and ears warm: this is obviously especially helpful in windy moments when you don’t have a beanie at hand. But even if the hood is not worn, it can have a warming function for the neck. Therefore a hoodie is certainly superior in those tough conditions compared to a sweatshirt with a round neck.

For formal occasions

A sweatshirt in simple colours like grey, dark blue or black can also be worn when you are invited to dinner by your parents-in-law. If you want to style it up a little, you can even wear a shirt underneath. A hoodie, on the other hand, is at the very least debatable and mostly unsuitable for such an occasion. As already mentioned: Collar shirts should NEVER be worn under a hoodie. Moreover, the hoodie (perhaps because of its controversial history) still doesn’t fit perfectly into a more formal event – like eating with rather square parents-in-law.

During chill-out moments

Both hoodies and sweatshirts always look casual and provide for a relaxed look. But with layered outfits, a hoodie can offer more possibilities and can paradoxically look more sophisticated and urbane. The distinctive hood in combination with jeans, bomber or leather jackets can add an interesting extra. You can also wear a well-fitting T-shirt under a hoodie with zipper. The layered look options for a crewneck sweatshirt are somewhat more limited.

As you can see, hoodies and sweatshirts have their own advantages and disadvantages. Of course it also depends on the occasion and the personal taste, to decide which fits better. But one thing is clear, for maximum versatility both are absolute must-haves and belong in every wardrobe. However, with these timeless classics you should also pay attention to the quality as well as the item, because they will never go out of fashion. If you really don’t have a sweater or hoodie or just can’t get enough, then have a look at our Sweatshirt collection, which includes both of these classic options.